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Church of Today ( 35 )
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
the  Church
 
The same order and system that were necessary in the days of the apostles should be maintained in the church of today. The prosperity of the cause depends very largely upon its various departments being conducted by men of ability, who are qualified to fill the positions in which they are placed. Those who are chosen of God to be leaders in the cause of truth, having the general oversight of the spiritual interests of the church, should be relieved as far as possible from cares and perplexities of a temporal nature. Those whom God has called to minister in word and doctrine should have time for meditation, prayer, and a study of the Scriptures. Their clear spiritual discernment is dimmed if they are obliged to enter into the lesser details of business, and to deal with the various temperaments of those who meet together in church capacity. All difficult matters of a temporal nature should be brought before the proper officers, to be adjusted by them. But if these matters are of so perplexing a character as to baffle the wisdom of these officers, they should be carried into the council of those who have the oversight of the entire church.  {RH, February 16, 1911 par. 5}  {PaM 149.2} 
 
 
The defenders of the papacy declare that the church has been maligned, and the Protestant world are inclined to accept the statement. Many urge that it is unjust to judge the church of today by the abominations and absurdities that marked her reign during the centuries of ignorance and darkness. They excuse her horrible cruelty as the result of the barbarism of the times and plead that the influence of modern civilization has changed her sentiments. Great Controversy, page 563.2
 
 
Thus it will ever be when the Spirit of God takes possession of the life. Those whose hearts are filled with the love of Christ, will follow the example of Him who for our sake became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich. Money, time, influence -- all the gifts they have received from God's hand, they will value only as a means of advancing the work of the gospel. Thus it was in the early church; and when in the church of today it is seen that by the power of the Spirit the members have taken their affections from the things of the world, and that they are willing to make sacrifices in order that their fellow men may hear the gospel, the truths proclaimed will have a powerful influence upon the hearers.  {AA 71.1}  {YRP 335.3} 
 
The people of each age will be judged by the light they have received. The church of today has been favored with great light and many opportunities -- favored even as Chorazin and Bethsaida were favored. How Christ longed to see some fruit from the labor He expended on these cities! And today how greatly He longs to see His church standing in freedom from sin! O that those for whom He has wrought so mightily would strive to be like Him in character! How it would cheer His heart to see them partaking of His nature, their works testifying to their faith in God, and to their realization of the obligation resting on them to work for Him!  {ST, May 27, 1903 par. 6}
 
When the Israelites entered Canaan, they did not fulfill God's purpose by taking possession of the whole land. After making a partial conquest, they settled down to enjoy the fruit of their victories. In their unbelief and love of ease, they congregated in the portions already conquered instead of pushing forward to occupy new territory. Thus they began to depart from God. By their failure to carry out His purpose, they made it impossible for Him to fulfill to them His promise of blessing. Is not the church of today doing the same thing? With the whole world before them in need of the gospel, professed Christians congregate where they themselves can enjoy gospel privileges. They do not feel the necessity of occupying new territory, carrying the message of salvation into regions beyond. They refuse to fulfill Christ's commission, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15. Are they less guilty than was the Jewish church?  {COL 303.2}
 
Shall the warnings from God be passed by unheeded? Shall the opportunities for service be unimproved? Shall the world's scorn, the pride of reason, conformity to human customs and traditions, hold the professed followers of Christ from service to Him? Will they reject God's word as the Jewish leaders rejected Christ? The result of Israel's sin is before us. Will the church of today take warning?  {COL 306.3}
 
When the Israelites entered Canaan, they did not fulfil God's purpose by taking possession of the whole land. After making a partial conquest, they settled down to enjoy the fruit of their victories. In their unbelief and love of ease, they congregated in the portions already conquered, instead of pushing forward to occupy new territory. Thus they began to depart from God. By their failure to carry out His purpose they made it impossible for Him to fulfil to them His promise of blessing. Is not the church of today doing the same thing? With the whole world before them in need of the gospel, professed Christians congregate where they themselves can enjoy gospel privileges. They do not feel the necessity of occupying new territory, carrying the message of salvation into regions beyond. They refuse to fulfil Christ's commission, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Are they less guilty than was the Jewish church?-- Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 119.  {ChS 184.4}
 
The church of today has followed in the steps of the Jews of old, who set aside the commandments of God for their own traditions. She has changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant, and now, as then, pride, unbelief, and infidelity are the result. Her true condition is set forth in these words from the song of Moses: "They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children; they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?"  {RH, March 18, 1884 par. 11}  {ST, May 20, 1886 par. 5}
 
 
Church   of  this  generation
 
 Is not this experience of the Ephesian church repeated in the experience of the church of this generation? How is the church of today, that has received a knowledge of the truth of God, using this knowledge? When its members first saw God's unspeakable mercy for the fallen race, they could not keep silent. They were filled with longing to co-operate with God in giving to others the blessings they had received. As they imparted, they were continually receiving. They grew in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. How is it today?  Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 422.3
 
 
The parable of the vineyard applies not alone to the Jewish nation. It has a lesson for us. The church in this generation has been endowed by God with great privileges and blessings, and He expects corresponding returns.  {COL 296.2}
 
 
 
 
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